When using an analytics package, it’s hard to go past the free and full-featured Google Analytics package. While it is easy to set up, I seldom see people making full use of the tools available within the package.
As well as simple tracking of hits and visitors, here are some of the more advanced fatures you should be taking advantage of:
A goal is whatever you want your users to be doing on your site. This may be purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or just spending over 5 minutes browsing your site. If you set up goals on your site you can easily track all these specific abilities and view data about them. For example, you could find out how many people who received your newsletter went on to buy a product, or find out which banner ad lead to people singing up for your newsletter. You can also set up multi-step goals, such as a 4 stage shopping cart. The goal completion tool will then let you see how many people started this action, how many finished, and at which point people dropped out. This may lead you to change aspects of your site when you realise why visitors are not completing their orders.
If you sell product from your site you should implement the e-commerce tracking built into Analytics. Your developer can add some code to your site that reports back to Google every time a product is purchased. This information includes the product name, price and quantity. After this is implemented Google Analytics will show you which sections of your site are generating the most income. An interesting perspective on this data is given by using the Site Overlay feature. Turning this on will show a dollar value above each link and clickable graphic on your site – giving you a quick way to see where your money is coming from.
You are not limited to the set of reports that Google Analytics provides out of the box, you can also create your own detailed reports. You can graph pretty much any 2 figures against each other, you can also add custom variables to your sites to track specific users’ behaviour. For example if you have users who log in from different departments, you can add a custom variable to track which department they came from. You could then build a custom report that segments the activity data based on the user’s department.
These are just a few of the many customisations that Google Analytics allows. Come and chat to us if you think you’d like to explore these on your site!